UAAP 82: L-Jay Gonzales now at controls of FEU's present and future

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Sep 05, 2019 04:24 PM
L-Jay Gonzales now at controls of FEU's present and future
(Photo by Arvin Lim)

L-Jay Gonzales didn't have the best of days shooting from the field in his first game as Far Eastern University's starting point guard.

The second-year playmaker had eight points on 3-of-14 shooting as the Tamaraws' rally fell short against the University of the Philippines.

For head coach Olsen Racela, however, Gonzales means much more than points to the green and gold. "I don't really look at the scoring. L-Jay is an all-around player and he had 8-7-6 (eight points, seven rebounds, six assists), wala pa dun yung pressure defense niya," he told reporters.

He then continued, "Again, this season, we're investing in the youth and eto si L-Jay ang aming present and future."

Indeed, it was behind the 5-foot-11 playmaker that FEU battled back from being behind by double-digits for majority of the matchup, even tying the tally at 55-all with four minutes remaining.

Unfortunately, they couldn't complete the comeback.

Still, Gonzales proved to be nothing but deserving of his new spot in the first five - and for him, he was put there to make each and every one of his teammates better. "Gusto kong i-share lahat kung anong meron ako. Gusto kong ipakita sa lahat kung anong meron ako para mapasaya ko yung team ko," he said.

At the same time, though, the former UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP is well aware that he is carrying a heavy burden in following in the footsteps of the likes of Johnny Abarrientos, Denok Miranda, and Terrence Romeo as well as learning from one of the best in Racela. "Pressure para sa akin, siyempre, pero nag-eenjoy lang ako. Para sa akin naman, 'di ko rin iniisip yung mga sinasabi nila kasi gagawin ko lang lahat para sa team," he said.

One thing's for sure, though, Gonzales will never let his mentor down. As he put it, "Sobrang saya ko kasi binigyan talaga ako ng tiwala ni Coach Olsen kaya hinding-hindi ko sasayangin yung binigay niyang yun."

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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